MartinP.

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I was heavily involved with the original "Lucy Show" DVDs at CBS (worked with Tom Watson's team) and peripherally involved in the later I Love Lucy sets and blu rays. I was associate producer of the Lucie Arnaz interview that was used on this set (ported from "The Lucy Show" season 1). Just trying to support to keep Lucy on CBS's radar. The blu rays came about because Tom's team wanted to get all the "cut" footage back into the hour shows. Most all the cuts were finally located in the vaults on 35mm (well after the "season 7, 8 and 9" DVD releases). They were trying to make new masters for all the hour shows. I don't know how far they made it past the first 2 - I'll see if I can find out. The plan was to get CBS to put out a blu ray set with branching (just like the season 1 set) so they could include the regular shows as well as the Ford / Westinghouse openings, closings, commercials. Unfortunately, while CBS liked the idea, they wanted to start at the beginning. That's why we only got season 1 and 2 on blu. Also, based on the comments on this release, there appears to be a decent amount of interest in "Life With Lucy". Maybe strong sales and comments will encourage them to hire Tom's team to help reassemble that show from the 35mm raw footage (as was done for Star Trek Next Gen) so all 13 shows can be put out in high quality. One can dream.
Just wanted to thank you for your reply. Nice to know you worked on the Lucy Show DVD's. Nice job! (Did you know T. Maietta?) I met Tom Watson several times where I worked in the late 80's. We chatted about "Lucy" things frequently. I had never seen the Burton/Taylor Here's Lucy episode and he brought me a copy of it!

I agree that, if anything, those Westinghouse/Lucy-Desi Comedy Hours are what need to be re-done as was planned!
 
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MartinP.

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It hit her VERY hard and she believed people just didn’t want to see her anymore. I think the response she got at the Oscars with Bob Hope and the outpouring of letters & cards when she was hospitalized help erase a lot of that, thankfully...

Through a series of extremely fortunate circumstances, I got to attend the Oscars (still can't really believe it!) that year. It was Lucy's last public appearance and I was very fortunate; it was the only time I got to see her in person. If you watch her appearance on that show she was in a very good mood that night and seemed to love being with Bob Hope up there on the Shrine Auditorium stage.
 

PMF

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I was heavily involved with the original "Lucy Show" DVDs at CBS (worked with Tom Watson's team) and peripherally involved in the later I Love Lucy sets and blu rays. [...]That's why we only got season 1 and 2 on blu.[...] One can dream.
Those Blu Rays from Season One and Two of "I Love Lucy" were magnificently executed.
Some are gonna balk at its initial price for being high; but I feel that the labor and excellence put forth are evident in every episode.
Again, folks, never mind the price-point aspects for this moment; as this post is solely earmarked as a note of praise, now knowing that there's actually someone on this thread who was there and in the arena.
Hopefully, this fine work - if not restoration - will finds its way back to Blu for those remaining seasons.
Bravo to Larry.P and associates. An end result well worth praising.:cheers:
 
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Joe Lugoff

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"I Love Lucy" is my all-time favorite TV show and Lucille Ball was my favorite performer, so I've given this a lot of thought -- probably too much.

I don't think the problem (for people like me, at least) was that she was stuck in the '50s and didn't update her comedy. Actually, I preferred it that way.

The problem was that she and her shows were extremely inferior to what they used to be. Many fans bailed out at some time or other. She lost me halfway through the first season of "Here's Lucy."

Of course, others stuck with her to the bitter end. There's never 100% agreement about anything in this world, to put it mildly. :rolleyes:
 

Larry.P

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Larry P. since you were involved with the "I Love Lucy" Blu-Rays.....I have a question for you...….Do you know if CBS/Paramount is ever going to return with the continuation with the "I Love Lucy" Blu ray releases (season 3 thru the Lucy Comedy Hours)? Also, do you know if ALL the colorized episodes (so far) will make it to a Blu-Ray release?

I am a HUGE Lucy fan.....I went to 2 of the Lucy Conventions held at the Burbank Hotel (back in the '90's) ran by Tom Watson and his team (I probably met you at one point). Those conventions were so much fun!!! I got to meet a lot a stars that performed with Lucy. I do have the first two seasons of "I Love Lucy" Blu Ray sets (which are fantastic by the way......a lot of heart went into the production of them) I didn't realize/paid attention that it was Tom Watson and his team that got this together......you can tell......they/you really know their/your stuff when it comes to Lucy!!! Really happy you guys were instrumental in putting the blu rays together.....I know ALOT of work was involved. :)
There are no plans for any "Lucy" Blu ray releases at this time. CBS could always decide otherwise.
 

Larry.P

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Those Blu Rays from Season One and Two of "I Love Lucy" were magnificently executed.
Some are gonna balk at its initial price for being high; but I feel that the labor and excellence put forth are evident in every episode.
Again, folks, never mind the price-point aspects for this moment; as this post is solely earmarked as a note of praise, now knowing that there's actually someone on this thread who was there and in the arena.
Hopefully, this fine work - if not restoration - will finds its way back to Blu for those remaining seasons.
Bravo to Larry.P and associates. An end result well worth praising.:cheers:
The credit goes to Tom Watson and Jonathan Angus.
 

Larry.P

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Just wanted to thank you for your reply. Nice to know you worked on the Lucy Show DVD's. Nice job! (Did you know T. Maietta?) I met Tom Watson several times where I worked in the late 80's. We chatted about "Lucy" things frequently. I had never seen the Burton/Taylor Here's Lucy episode and he brought me a copy of it!

I agree that, if anything, those Westinghouse/Lucy-Desi Comedy Hours are what need to be re-done as was planned!
The Lucy Show DVDs were a labor of love for all involved, and yes I know Mr. Maietta. There were only a few things I wish we had been able to change, but those sets were near perfect as far as I'm concerned!
 
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PMF

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There are no plans for any "Lucy" Blu ray releases at this time. CBS could always decide otherwise.
Are you free to address why Tom Watson and Johnathan Angus halted their work on the Blu Rays of "I Love Lucy"?
 
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Larry.P

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Are you free to address why Tom Watson and Johnathan Angus halted their work on the Blu Rays of "I Love Lucy"?
It wasn't them, it was CBS - disappointing sales with their 3 trial runs of classic TV on Blu (The Honeymooners, Andy Griffith season 1, I Love Lucy season 1). Season 2 only came out because most of the work was already in the can when season 1 was released. CBS didn't know how to handle these releases to make them successful. Hopefully some day they figure it out and try again. As of now, no plans.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I really think they needed to come out of the gate with a complete series set at the start. Between that and the pricing, I think a lot of potential buyers were wary of starting to collect this on BD without any guarantee that the rest was coming.

From where I was sitting at the time, I hadn’t seen any of I Love Lucy in years, and it was a childhood favorite of my wife’s, so I bit the bullet and bought the first season when it came out. The quality was spectacular, but so was the price tag - almost $100 for the season if I remember correctly. We quickly finished watching it, but there was no announcement about Season 2, and we didn’t want to stop watching the show. The complete series on DVD was readily available for $50 or less so we bought that and finished it before the BD for S2 was ever released. That meant we had absolutely no urgency or incentive to spend $100 on that BD when we had already seen the content and paid a small fraction of the price for it. I eventually did get S2 but not until the price had come way down.

If they could have found a way to make the first release a complete series set priced closer to $200, I think they would have had some success. But $100 for a single season when the complete show was on DVD for just $50 was a really hard sell.
 

Garysb

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Now I want you all to know that I too loved Lucy. But I do believe that she had difficulty accepting other forms of comedy and entertainment, ie; couldn't really keep up with the times that well. I know this point will and can be argued, but to me there is evidence that Lucille Ball just stayed in the 1950's with her taste and opinions about television comedy. She was critical of All In The Family and stated publicly that she did not care for the work of Lily Tomlin. To each his own but to me that says some other forms of comedy she just would not accept because it clashed with how her and Desi founded their sitcom. They do deserve the credit they got BUT as time goes on whether we like it or not the times do indeed change and different talents become just as much the success that ILL was. I think she had a hard time accepting that. Just my two cents.
What you say is very true but also true of others. "All In the Family" ran its course. The final season of "All In the Family", after Mike and Gloria left, and all of Archie Bunker's Place with the exceptions of when Mike and Gloria visited and the death of Edith were a poor substitute for "All In The Family" in its prime. The show most certainly should have ended when Mike and Gloria moved to California. I think with Lucy people only wanted to see her as "Lucy". She did specials after "Here's Lucy" where she played non "Lucy" characters and they weren't very funny. With her last series people would no longer accept her as "Lucy" so her career was essentially over. I believe she thought the audience would no longer accept her as "Lucy" because she had become old. Actually it was because the show was not funny but the "Lucy" character hadn't been very funny since Season 1 of "The Lucy Show". That the show was still so popular for an additional 11 years is the surprising thing. By the way the one hour Lucy Desi shows were mostly pretty bad. The only one I loved was "The Celebrity Next Door" which was the most like " I Love Lucy."
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I forget what the episodes were called, but I really liked the hour long ones with Fernando Lamas (when Ricky is “yealous”) and the Fred MacMurray one.
 
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Garysb

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There was such a difference in her appearance from the last Lucy Desi shows where she had gained weight but still sounded like Lucy Ricardo and the first The Lucy Show where she was thin but her voice started getting deeper. It is said that she talked higher than her natural speaking voice as Lucy Ricardo . It was done as a way for the character to seem younger than the actress playing her. Grace Allen also apparently did something similar. I guess Lucy could no longer do that by the time The Lucy Show started . There was only 2 years between the end of Lucy Desi hour long shows in the spring of 1960 and the start of the Lucy Show in the Fall of 1962. Vivian Vance looked and sounded the same but not Lucy. Did appearing on Broadway in Wildcat damage her voice or was it smoking or both?
 
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Tony Bensley

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There was such a difference in her appearance from the last Lucy Desi shows where she had gained weight but still sounded like Lucy Ricardo and the first The Lucy Show where she was thin but her voice started getting deeper. It is said that she talked higher than her natural speaking voice as Lucy Ricardo . It was done as a way for the character to seem younger than the actress playing her. Grace Allen also apparently did something similar. I guess Lucy could no longer do that by the time The Lucy Show started . There was only 2 years between the end of Lucy Desi hour long shows in the spring of 1960 and the start of the Lucy Show in the Fall of 1962. Vivian Vance looked and sounded the same but not Lucy. Did appearing on Broadway in Wildcat damage her voice or was it smoking or both?
Those are great questions, Gary! I surmise that Lucy's turning 50 in the interim may have also had something to do with her voice deepening. For me, it was visual, with floaters literally appearing on the eve of my 50th! Stuff just starts to go at around that age, it seems.

CHEERS! :)
 
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Rob_Ray

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i've always suspected that three things damaged Lucy's voice in the 1960s.

1. She did not know how to properly project from her diaphragm while performing in WILDCAT, and later on the THE LUCY SHOW. (Why did everyone have to scream on her later shows?)
2. She was a heavy smoker.
3. She liked scotch.
 

MatthewA

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"I Love Lucy" is my all-time favorite TV show and Lucille Ball was my favorite performer, so I've given this a lot of thought -- probably too much.

I don't think the problem (for people like me, at least) was that she was stuck in the '50s and didn't update her comedy. Actually, I preferred it that way.

The problem was that she and her shows were extremely inferior to what they used to be. Many fans bailed out at some time or other. She lost me halfway through the first season of "Here's Lucy."

Of course, others stuck with her to the bitter end. There's never 100% agreement about anything in this world, to put it mildly. :rolleyes:
Nobody wanted a show that was just Lucy on a soapbox; that would have been the TV equivalent of "hey, you kids, get off of my lawn" being yelled at you for 30 minutes, and audiences would have rejected it even faster than Life With Lucy. Yet that still managed to miss the mark even compared to the color Lucy shows before it, never mind I Love Lucy. And by then, her younger self was winning her fans who weren't even born in 1974. In some ways, she was a victim of her own success. After three hit shows with the same writers, she thought the audience still wanted the same thing. In essence, they were already getting it from then-current shows that reused their old plot lines to the point where they felt like Polyester Lucys. But she had largely helped shape TV sitcoms as we know them today and as we knew them in 1986, so the expectations for her to succeed were high.

Leaving the writing and the mostly generic supporting cast aside, she also had to deal with being on ABC, one of the worst networks for interfering with producers and derailing hit shows, instead of her former home of CBS where she'd never ranked below 29th. Now under Larry Tisch's cut-at-all-costs management, the CBS of 1986 had a dearth of hit sitcoms; her old Monday night slot by that time belonged to Newhart*, which was still winning its time slot. ABC didn't have a better slot for it than Saturday at 8:00 PM ET because it would have either displaced one of their own hits or put them against another network's hits; there was no way they were going to displace Moonlighting or Dynasty for this show, Aaron Spelling or no Aaron Spelling. Cutting Disney Sunday Movie back to one hour, which they did anyway next season for Dolly Parton's ill-fated variety hour, would have put it up against Murder She Wrote. Putting it on Thursday would have been instant suicide up against any of NBC's top-rated shows. They could have tried putting it on Friday where it couldn't possibly have done worse than either Gung Ho (based on the Ron Howard movie released that same year) and Dads (which looked like essentially a male version of Kate and Allie), the two flop sitcoms they did try up against Dallas** and Miami Vice. At least there, they might have gotten more children to watch it with Webster*** and Mr. Belvedere as lead-ins. They probably didn't even consider first-run syndication (where Danny Thomas flopped the same year with One Big Family****) which would have cut the budget by at least a third or more but would have given stations some leeway as to when to air it.

*In the wake of Mame, Maude replaced Here's Lucy in the 1974-1975 season.
**Their Lucy was no longer on the show by that point, having remarried Mitch Cooper and moved to Atlanta.
***Which also starred a real-life husband and wife (except they stayed married until he died) and the iteration of Paramount Television that produced it was basically the successor-in-interest to Desilu. The CBS/Viacom/Paramount mergers brought it all full circle.
****So did his co-star in the 1980 ABC flop I'm A Big Girl Now, Diana Canova (who left Soap for it; they both went down together) in her show Throb, one of Procter and Gamble's few ventures into sitcoms.
 
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Joe Lugoff

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I've long had the opinion that the best script Lucy ever had on television was for the hour-long "Lucy Makes Room for Danny." It's funny, even hysterical, from beginning to end.

It was first shown on December 1,1958, and that afternoon was the third worst school fire in the history of the USA, in Chicago. Bad timing for a very funny show.
 

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